WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 11, 2011, 12:39 PM

MN Guard practices quick reaction to levee breaches or breaks

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - The Minnesota National Guard took advantage of a break in the flood fight this morning to better hone the skills of their Quick Reaction Force, or Q-R-F, for next year's flood.

This morning the Minnesota National Guard deployed one of their Moorhead QRF units complete with 20 personnel and 3,000 sandbags for a mission that was both practical and practice.

The Quick Reaction force works with local police and fire departments to get to the scene as quickly as possible to address any levee breaches or breaks.

Today, on 40th avenue south in Moorhead there was no break, but a good excuse to practice. This temporary levee needed to be tied in with high ground to protect a few backyards and the road from flooding that came from a malfunctioning gate valve.

The GRF's haven't had to respond to any major calls since '09 so they needed a refresher.

CAPTAIN TIM SEVCIK - MN National Guard: “Obviously you have turnover in personnel over time, some things get lost, so it's pretty valuable for us to just drill this and work with the authorities because you have multiple agencies trying to work together to pull one mission off."

Of course a QRF's mission is to deliver a rapid response. They try to be on a site within 10 to 15 minutes. Today, they made it in 12.

There are currently 3 QRF units in Moorhead and they'll likely stay in town until the river level gets down to 37 feet and then move north as more communities deal with flooding.